Friday, January 28

Carrollton History

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Liz Casatneda  Loves Carrollton History

Liz Castaneda from Carrollton Texas

It doesn’t take much for Liz Castaneda to get excited about Carrollton. It actually doesn’t take anything at all. Castaneda is a staple on the city’s historic square, spinning yarns and talking about tall tales every chance she gets.

What​ ​brought​ ​you​ ​to​ ​Carrollton?

I​ ​was​ ​born​ ​and​ ​raised​ ​in​ ​Carrollton, Texas.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​born​ ​in​ ​1971​ ​and​ ​lived​ ​on​ ​Valleywood.​ ​In 1977​ ​my​ ​family​ ​moved​ ​to​ ​Cecil​ ​Court,​ ​and​ ​that​ ​is​ ​where​ ​I​ ​was​ ​raised.​ ​The​ ​street​ ​I​ ​lived​ ​on was​ ​snuggled​ ​in​ ​between​ ​The​ ​Perry​ ​Homestead​ ​and​ ​Perry​ ​Cemetery. ​ ​Every​ ​day​ ​of​ ​my​ ​life, every​ ​month,​ ​every​ ​year,​ ​every​ ​milestone,​ ​Carrollton’s​ ​rich​ ​and​ ​beautiful​ ​history​ ​stood watch​ ​over​ ​me.​ ​​ I​ ​have​ ​always​ ​made​ ​my​ ​way​ ​back​ ​home​ ​to​ ​Carrollton.​ ​It’s​ ​in​ ​this​ ​city​ ​where​ ​my​ ​memories were​ ​made​ ​and​ ​I​ ​am​ ​happiest. Everyone loves a great story, everyone loves a story about love, everyone loves an epic ending. Carrollton has all the above and in Carrollton our story always stars you. There is something beautiful and magic about Carrollton. If you live here for any amount of time you would see for yourself. 

You’ve​ ​done​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​digging​ ​into​ ​Carrollton’s​ ​history. ​ ​What​ ​interesting​ ​things​ ​have​ ​you​ ​found? 

I have found many things interesting. I found out in 1921 the location of Ten of Arts was once a Ford Garage repair shop. I found that there had been rumors of the back part of 1105 S. Broadway could have been a speakeasy type of establishment. I came across speculation that our two-story Oldfield building was once an inn, and could have been an inn of ill repute.

I love to hear the stories passed down from generation to generation of the Furneaux Cemetery. Some swore that the first resident checked in due to an Indian attack. While others claim that the cemetery’s first resident was an African- American Woman that died of a broken heart.

While searching all things Carrollton, I was lead to read about Miss. Minnie Thorp. Miss. Thorp was a teacher sometime in the mid-1910s. Her father operated the first known school bus (before there was such a thing). In bad weather Mr. Thorp would hitch his mules to a covered wagon and drive from Fyke Road to the school, picking up school children along the way. 

I also loved reading about Pearl Perry and William Arthur Gravley having a courtship. Their courtship included a chaperone mule, roller skating and moonlight rides in Arthur’s buggy.

To be totally honest with you, I find anything Carrollton History very interesting. I find reading about Carrollton, Texas is like reading a warm romantic novel.

What​ ​is​ ​one​ ​odd​ ​thing​ ​or​ ​unexpected​ ​thing​ ​that​ ​you’ve​ ​found? 

I found a photo of a gorgeous church with beautiful stairs, majestic columns and a basement. I had never seen this beautiful building. The photo says First Christian Church Carrollton, Texas. I later found an article in The Carrollton Chronicle in 1943 talking about the American Red Cross meeting in the basement of that building. I wish I knew more about this mysterious building. I find it very odd I had never seen photos of this church before. I find it odd I have never heard stories about this building.

How​ ​have​ ​you​ ​found​ ​so​ ​much​ ​historical​ ​info/photos?  

I love my city and search everywhere I can to get to know Carrollton better. I have searched old newspapers, old publications by the Peters Colony Historical Association and anyone who has old photos. I love my treasure hunt of Carrollton’s past. I doubt I will ever stop.

What​ ​were​ ​you​ ​doing​ ​before​ ​working​ ​at​ ​Ten​ ​of​ ​Arts? 

I have worked in the bridal industry for 25-plus years. I began traveling the United States and found no matter which beautiful city I was visiting, there was no place like home. I love showing off my gorgeous city to the world. I find sharing my love and passion fulfilling.

What​ ​is​ ​a​ ​typical​ ​day​ ​like​ ​for​ ​you​ ​at​ ​Ten​ ​of​ ​Arts? 

There is no such thing as a typical day in Ten of Arts. My neighbors consist of Sid at Sid’s Rainbow [Fountain], feisty Melba in The Old Craft Store, sweet Clarence in The Plaza, Steve, Louise and Lea in 55 Degrees, Stan and Adam in C2 Café, Richard Fleming in The Antique Store and finally, my Shaun and Nan in The Vintage House. With these characters filling each day with love, laughter and excitement, how could any day resemble “typical”?

I share each day in Ten of Arts with Lynne Hosid, Pat Malone and my daughter Evelyn. I honestly feel like I am the richest person in Carrollton. I get to wake up each morning in my Marchant home and make new memories with the most incredible people of Carrollton.

I share my magical moments with the world via social media. Our city has reached all corners of the world. I have people from Australia, the United Kingdom, Alaska, Switzerland and Africa inquiring about our magical square. I have no idea how I got so lucky to have the life I have.